HomeNewsCrimePrison Official And 10 Others Arrested For Alleged Illegal Mining

Prison Official And 10 Others Arrested For Alleged Illegal Mining

The search revealed suspected illegal mining equipment, including materials believed to contain gold. Consequently, the four suspects, aged between 33 and 46, were arrested on the spot.

Yesterday, on Thursday 11 April 2024, a total of 11 suspects, including an official working for the Department of Correctional Services, were apprehended for their alleged involvement in illegal mining activities. The arrests took place at a farm in Noordkaap, Barberton, just outside Nelspruit.

The suspects came under scrutiny when the farm owner reported trespassing earlier this month, accusing individuals of carrying out unauthorized mining activities on his property. Acting on this information, the police conducted an intelligence-driven operation, led by members attached to Operation Vala Umgodi in Mpumalanga.

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During the operation, police officers spotted a suspicious-looking light delivery vehicle (bakkie) with Zimbabwean registration plates. The vehicle, occupied by four individuals, was promptly stopped and searched.

The search revealed suspected illegal mining equipment, including materials believed to contain gold. Consequently, the four suspects, aged between 33 and 46, were arrested on the spot.

Among the detainees was an official from the Department of Correctional Services, along with two South Africans and a Zimbabwean national.

Following this arrest, the police proceeded to their intended destination, where they caught seven additional Zimbabwean nationals, aged between 30 and 41, red-handed while digging on the farm. The police also discovered illegal mining equipment, including a metal detector, in their possession.

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Furthermore, authorities are collaborating with officials from the Department of Home Affairs regarding the seven suspects who failed to provide valid documentation to be in the country. Consequently, these individuals may face an additional charge of contravening the Immigration Act of South Africa.

The suspects are scheduled to appear in court today, Friday 12 April 2024, at the Barberton Magistrate’s Court. Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, the Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Mpumalanga, has expressed her satisfaction with the arrests made and the recovery of the illegal mining equipment.

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Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise is a passionate and dedicated local news writer who brings the latest news and updates from your community straight to your doorstep. With years of experience in journalism, Keitumetse has established herself as a reliable source of information, covering a wide range of topics that matter to you.
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